Michelle Obama to Join Hillary Clinton at North Carolina Rally

MAGGIE HABERMAN Thursday, October 27, 2016Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 08.17.23

Good Thursday morning.
Michelle Obama will make her first appearance with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail on Thursday, attending a rally to try to encourage early voting in North Carolina.
Eight years ago, the thought of Mrs. Obama being Mrs. Clinton’s most powerful campaigner would have been unimaginable. The Democratic primary in 2008 between Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama was grueling and brutal.
That Mrs. Obama has thrown herself into the role of defending Mrs. Clinton so completely and, in the minds of many political observers, so effectively is among the most notable story lines of the tumultuous 2016 campaign.
The rally will take place in Winston-Salem. Mr. Obama won North Carolina in 2008, but he lost it in 2012. However, polls have shown the state to be in play this year, and a New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll this week showed Mrs. Clinton with a seven-point lead in the state.
Beginning with her Democratic National Convention speech, Mrs. Obama has sought to make a compelling, optimistic case for Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy, one that has cut above the din of the slashing presidential cycle.
She has described Mrs. Clinton as the natural extension of, and best hope for preserving, her husband’s legislative accomplishments, such as the Affordable Care Act. She has made the case for Mrs. Clinton’s determination. And she has offered herself as a character witness for a candidate who has historically high unfavorable ratings as the Democratic nominee.
“When they go low, we go high,” Mrs. Obama said at the convention, a line that Mrs. Clinton has since used as a weapon against attacks from her rival, Donald J. Trump.
Most striking has been Mrs. Obama’s evolution from reluctant campaign spouse in the 2008 cycle, one whom Republicans and some Democrats repeatedly caricatured as divisive, into the most popular figure in the Democratic Party.
She is repeatedly mentioned as someone Democrats hope will run for office. But there is no evidence she has any interest in doing so.
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ON WASHINGTON
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
MEDIATOR
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Hilary Swift for The New York Times
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Photofest
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What We’re Reading Elsewhere

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